On May 30, 2015, my dear friends Joseph and Marion got married and it was such a wonderful day: the Mass at St. Paul’s was beautiful and the reception at All Saints was fun and full of love. I was blessed to emcee the reception that evening, and as part of the program I presented the following story about Joseph and Marion: their meeting, the courting period, their dating, and the proposal.
In the fall of 2011, the Catholic Church was preparing to embrace a new translation and new parts for the Mass. Little did Joseph and Marion know that God was preparing them to celebrate a big change via a sacrament as well…but 4 years down the road.
Yesterday I participated in a retreat at Rosemary Heights with some of my work colleagues from the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Before leaving my house in the morning, I texted some of my closest friends asking them if there was anything or anyone they wanted me to pray for.
I was affirmed and surprised by their prayer requests (I’ve slightly edited some of them to protect privacy):
My sister in the Philippines
The health and happiness of our newborn
Me as I recently broke up with my fiancee
The youth ministry coordinator
That we will be blessed with children
Good work-life balance
That my dad finds a purpose that makes him happy
My aunt having surgery tomorrow
My mom’s 70th birthday
My aunt who is ill
My dad and how he fits into my life
Peace in my heart
My relationship with my boyfriend
A healthy granddaughter
Dissertation, move, and travel mercies
Vocation, family, and ministry
Me, my wife, and my family
That we can sell our house
A safe trip for my in laws
My upcoming trip overseas
Health of my relatives
Ministry inspiration and vision
My sister’s job transition
My friend who is struggling
My friend how just went through dialysis
Wisdom, clarity, and discernment and for God to open doors where He desires
Today is the Annunciation, the Christian celebration of the announcement by the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ. Despite being a virgin, Mary would miraculously conceive a child who would be called the Son of God.
As my friend and colleague Tom East has said, “I think this is an important day for us as youth ministers. We have the chance to be like Gabriel and bear God’s message of love and promise to teenagers. We speak on God’s behalf as we tell a young person: you are beautiful inside and out, and God has a plan for your life. What a privilege, this ministry we share.”
On Friday night, we held FREEDOM – our annual reconciliation event for youth – at St. Joseph Parish in Langley. Close to 300 teens and young adults packed the parish hall for an evening of prayer, worship, praise, skits, witness, and catechesis.
Also, there were over a dozen priests (including Archbishop Michael) present to hear confessions. I spoke to a couple of them and they said that the quality of the confessions was really good. I’ve also heard priests in the past say that the event affirms their priesthood. That’s kinda cool.